India’s Renewable Energy Segment Growth Dwarfed the Conventional Sector in FY17

Everyone is aware of Indian government’s focus on renewable energy, but the financial year 2017 brought about a dramatic change when the country added 15.3 Gigawatts (GW) in the expanding renewable energy segment. This is much more than the added capacity in the conventional energy segment, which just shows the figure of 6.2 GW for the first 11 months of the financial year.

If we factor in the analysts’ expectation that this figure will come to 11GW for the full year, then too, the exceptional lead of the renewable sector will remain intact.

The country in its attempt to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions has set a target of 175GW renewable power for itself by the end of 2022. This 175 GW includes 100 GW from solar power, another 60 GW through wind energy, 10 GW and 5 GW through the small hydropower and biomass-based power projects respectively.

The total added capacity of 15.3 GW includes 5.5 GW of wind power and 6.8 GW of solar capacity. The figure shows the government’s determination of increasing the green power share in the country’s energy mix. In both the solar and wind segments, this is the highest annual additions ever. There were plans to add 12 GW of solar power in FY17. So, that way, it is way short of target, although the added capacity is 125% more than the previous financial year. However, when it comes to wind power, the target was 4GW but the added capacity is 37.5% more. This record installation in the wind energy sector was 60% more than that of FY16.

The renewable energy sources comprise of solar and wind along with biomass power and also hydro projects that are of less than 25 MW. The biomass power capacity increased by 3GW, but the small hydro projects didn’t have any significant change during the year.

This commendable job in the renewable energy sector is attributed to the critical role played by the state governments and the huge investor interest in the sector. The role of state governments is pivotal in facilitating the establishing of greenfield manufacturing units, evacuation and installations, project management and FIT framework. The central government supported with policy support and the combined efforts resulted in achieving this feat in the FY17.

The CMD of Suzlon Group, Tulsi Tanti, is very confident that the wind industry will be able to add another new capacity of 6GW in FY18.


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